5 Pieces of Advice for the New Paupers

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5 Pieces of Advice for the New Paupers

By John Dolan, AlterNet. Posted October 15, 2008.

I just went through the hell of going from grad school-level poverty to the real thing.

Here are my lessons learned.

http://www.alternet.org/story/102992/5_pieces_of_advice_for_the_new_paupers

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“Little did I know that when I lost everything last year, I was doing research. At the time I thought it was just stupidity or bad luck or both. But now that the economy’s crashing, it turns out I’ve been out there gathering valuable tips for millions of new paupers. And let me clarify, I’m talking real poverty. My wife and I fell through many layers of poverty in a few months. First we revisited the genteel poverty known to grad students, the sort of poverty where you have scary dreams about the rent and eat a simple, wholesome diet toward the end of the month. But we fell right through that into the sort of Dickensian privation that spoiled first-worlders like me never expected to experience. That’s the kind of poverty a lot of people are going to be experiencing soon — and I’m here to tell you, it can happen here and it can happen to you. And it’s remarkably unpleasant. You may be saying “Duh!” here, but you’re probably not imagining the proper sort of unpleasantness. So I’ll try to lay out what to watch for, how to hunker down when it’s not just a matter of cutting back or selling your second car but having no car at all, having no money for heat or food.”

http://www.alternet.org/story/102992/5_pieces_of_advice_for_the_new_paupers/

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